What will be the impact of Brexit if I have been legally residing in the United Kingdom for more than 5 consecutive years?
Until 31 January 2020
The current situation is maintained. You benefit from a right of permanent residence in the United Kingdom after 5 years of continuous legal residence. Among other things, this status entails the right to stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom (except for removal orders in exceptional cases for criminal offences).
From 1 February 2020
When the withdrawal agreement is ratified:
Until 31 December 2020 (longer if the transition period is extended): the current situation is maintained.
On 30 March 2019, the UK Home Office officially launched the "settled status" registration scheme which allows EU citizens and their family members to stay in the United Kingdom after 2020. You will have the possibility to register until 30 June 2021. 'Settled status' proves your right of permanent residence, without the discretion of the British authorities, as soon as you fulfil the applicable conditions.
Thereafter: the withdrawal agreement ensures that, provided your 'settled status' application is successful, your right of permanent residence ('settled status') is maintained for life, for you and your family members, except in the case of continued absence from the United Kingdom for 5 years or in the case of a removal order in exceptional cases (criminal offences).
Furthermore, you may enter and leave the United Kingdom provided you are in possession of a valid identity card or passport. Obtaining an "EEA family permit" makes it easier and quicker to enter the United Kingdom for your non-EEA family members.
This is a document stating the existence of your right of permanent residence, without the discretion of the British authorities, as soon as you meet the applicable conditions.
It is already possible to register. Please note that the conditions for application are explained under Practical suggestions for Belgians living in the United Kingdom.